Katherine Batchelor

Mentor: Dr. Carolynn Patten
College of Public Health and Health Professions
 
"When I was five years old my mother had a spinal cord injury. After her injury, I fell in love with the field of physical therapy and wanted to learn as much as I could about the human body. My mom's injury and my experience from shadowing multiple physical therapy settings created my passion for neurological conditions. These experiences also revealed to me the importance of research in improving the field of physical therapy. This was the impetus for me to become a research assistant and to pursue my goal of making a contribution to my future profession as a physical therapist."

Major

Health Science

Minor

Disabilities in Society

Research Interests

  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s disease

Academic Awards

  • Florida Bright Futures Academic Top Scholar, 2012-2016
  • University Scholar, 2015-2016

Organizations

  • Undergraduate Physical Therapy Association
  • Health Science Student Organization
  • Golden Key International Honour Society

Volunteer

  • UF Health Shands Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Fit for Life Physical Therapy
  • University of Florida Orthopedics and Sports Management Institute

Hobbies and Interests

  • Horseback riding
  • Attending church
  • Cooking
  • Family time

Research Description

Half-walking to Restore Full Walking Following Stroke
Hemiparesis resulting from stroke contributes to walking deficits. Current rehabilitation methods do not induce either meaningful or persistent improvements on hemiparetic gait . Previous work (Kahn and Hornby, 2009) showed that gait speed and symmetry improved after two weeks of training with unilateral stepping by the non-paretic limb. Building on this paradigm, our goal is to investigate three factors that may contribute to improved gait following unilateral stepping: i) the relationship of swing time of the stepping (non-paretic) limb to the stance time of the supporting (paretic) limb, ii) hip extension angle of the supporting (paretic) limb, and iii) muscle activation of the supporting (paretic) limb. We will compare these parameters between post-stroke and healthy participants across three speeds of unilateral stepping. We hypothesize unilateral stepping at the slowest speed will promote the greatest adaptations in the supporting (paretic) limb. This research is important for developing effective methods of stroke rehabilitation. This study is supported by grants from VA Rehabilitation R&D and NIH (NINDS) to Carolynn Patten Ph.D., PT.